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Secret Ballot Watch

Card Check Flashback: Former Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate George McGovern Opposes Undemocratic Card Check Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2009 | Alexa Marrero ((202) 225-4527)
With Democrats still plotting and planning for a vote later this year on their anti-worker card check plan, it’s useful to remember how widespread the opposition really is. Leaders from across the political spectrum have lined up against this undemocratic plan because it is so fundamentally unfair to workers. For instance, last summer, George McGovern—the former Senator and Democratic presidential candidate—penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal decrying card check and its assault on worker rights. Among his words— 

"The legislation is called the Employee Free Choice Act, and I am sad to say it runs counter to ideals that were once at the core of the labor movement. Instead of providing a voice for the unheard, EFCA risks silencing those who would speak.

"The key provision of EFCA is a change in the mechanism by which unions are formed and recognized. Instead of a private election with a secret ballot overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would simply need to gather signatures from more than 50% of the employees in a workplace or bargaining unit, a system known as 'card-check.' There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues.

"Under EFCA, workers could lose the freedom to express their will in private, the right to make a decision without anyone peering over their shoulder, free from fear of reprisal."

McGovern, “My Party Should Respect Secret Union Ballots,” Wall Street Journal, 08.08.08  

With so many voices speaking out against this anti-worker plan, Democrats might want to reconsider their allegiance to it.

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